43 passengers rescued from sunken cruise ship in Vietnam, including 4 Malaysian tourists; 3 still missing

DANANG (Bloomberg) - The Vietnamese authorities are searching for two children and one man after rescuing 43 people, including four tourists from Malaysia, when a tourist boat designed to carry far fewer passengers sank on Saturday (June 4) evening in the popular tourist city of Danang late last night, according to local media.

The Thao Van 2, a vessel touring the Han River in Danang, overturned at about 8.40pm local time on Saturday, VnExpress reported on its website, citing Mr Huynh Duc Tho, the chairman of Danang People's Committee. The boat was designed to carry 28 people, according to a posting on Vietnam government's website yesterday.

Tuoitrenews.vn named the three missing passengers as Trinh Kim Phuong, 7, Trinh Tien Hung, 4, who are both from the northern province of Bac Kan, and Pham Tan Cuong, 46, from the south-central province of Binh Dinh.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered provincial agencies to quickly search for the missing people, according to a statement posted on the government's website today. Mr Phuc also ordered cities and provinces to examine vehicles used to transport tourists on water and ensure their owners comply with laws.

Forty-three passengers, including the four Malaysians, were rescued and hospitalised, VnExpress reported.

Mr Le Van Trung, director of Danang's transport department, was not immediately available to comment when reached by Bloomberg on his mobile phone.

A search team comprising 70 professional divers and military unit personnel were sent to rescue the passengers, tuoitrenews.vn quoted Mr Dang Viet Dung, vice-chairman of the municipal People's Committee, as saying.